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Los Angeles Dumping Black Balls Into City’s Drinking Water

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Los Angeles Dumping Black Balls Into City’s Drinking Water

If you commute on Los Angeles’ famous 5 Freeway, you may have noticed what appears to be a massive ball pit. But this isn’t the same ball pit you drop your toddler inside of while you text friends. Instead, this is the Los Angeles reservoir which is used to provide drinking water to millions of LA residents.

So why does the LADWP dump millions of black balls into the Los Angeles reservoir?

The 96 million balls are made up of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is made to float, making them a good solution for forming a big black layer on top of the reservoir. Each ball is filled with 210ml of water, the idea being that the reservoir is subject to high winds and the balls would otherwise, blow away. The water inside disrupts wind events careening the balls onto the 5 freeway.

The balls are used to block sunlight from entering the water. The reservoir’s bromide, which is harmless, would otherwise be turned into the carcinogenic bromate.


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In the below video, a team from LADWP take a boat out into the middle of the ball covered reservoir. You’ll note that the boat has a difficult time navigating the cluttered waters.

LADWP claims the black balls pose no threats to drinking water.

Los Angeles frequently is the subject of odd solutions to combating the sun. They spent millions of dollars layering chemicals on city streets hoping to reflect the sun to combat climate change. On a global level, Bill Gates and Harvard are currently working on blocking the sun’s rays from the earth.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.




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